Search Results for "what-algorithms-want-imagination-in-the-age-of-computing-mit-press"

What Algorithms Want

What Algorithms Want

Imagination in the Age of Computing

  • Author: Ed Finn
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262035928
  • Category: Computers
  • Page: 257
  • View: 7000
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The gap between theoretical ideas and messy reality, as seen in Neal Stephenson, Adam Smith, and Star Trek. We depend on—we believe in—algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It's as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations—the marriage vow, the shaman's curse—do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm—in practical terms, “a method for solving a problem”—has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking. Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to Diderot's Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost's satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google's goal of anticipating our questions, Uber's cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things. If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of “algorithmic reading” and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities.

What Algorithms Want

What Algorithms Want

Imagination in the Age of Computing

  • Author: Ed Finn
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 026233884X
  • Category: Computers
  • Page: 272
  • View: 8044
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We depend on -- we believe in -- algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It's as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations -- the marriage vow, the shaman's curse -- do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm -- in practical terms, "a method for solving a problem" -- has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking. Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to Diderot's Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost's satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google's goal of anticipating our questions, Uber's cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things.If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of "algorithmic reading" and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities.

What Algorithms Want

What Algorithms Want

Imagination in the Age of Computing

  • Author: Ed Finn
  • Publisher: Mit Press
  • ISBN: 9780262536042
  • Category: Computers
  • Page: 272
  • View: 6205
DOWNLOAD NOW »
The gap between theoretical ideas and messy reality, as seen in Neal Stephenson, Adam Smith, and Star Trek. We depend on--we believe in--algorithms to help us get a ride, choose which book to buy, execute a mathematical proof. It's as if we think of code as a magic spell, an incantation to reveal what we need to know and even what we want. Humans have always believed that certain invocations--the marriage vow, the shaman's curse--do not merely describe the world but make it. Computation casts a cultural shadow that is shaped by this long tradition of magical thinking. In this book, Ed Finn considers how the algorithm--in practical terms, "a method for solving a problem"--has its roots not only in mathematical logic but also in cybernetics, philosophy, and magical thinking. Finn argues that the algorithm deploys concepts from the idealized space of computation in a messy reality, with unpredictable and sometimes fascinating results. Drawing on sources that range from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash to Diderot's Encyclopédie, from Adam Smith to the Star Trek computer, Finn explores the gap between theoretical ideas and pragmatic instructions. He examines the development of intelligent assistants like Siri, the rise of algorithmic aesthetics at Netflix, Ian Bogost's satiric Facebook game Cow Clicker, and the revolutionary economics of Bitcoin. He describes Google's goal of anticipating our questions, Uber's cartoon maps and black box accounting, and what Facebook tells us about programmable value, among other things. If we want to understand the gap between abstraction and messy reality, Finn argues, we need to build a model of "algorithmic reading" and scholarship that attends to process, spearheading a new experimental humanities.

The Stuff of Bits

The Stuff of Bits

An Essay on the Materialities of Information

  • Author: Paul Dourish
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262340135
  • Category: Computers
  • Page: 256
  • View: 1957
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Virtual entities that populate our digital experience, like e-books, virtual worlds, and online stores, are backed by the large-scale physical infrastructures of server farms, fiber optic cables, power plants, and microwave links. But another domain of material constraints also shapes digital living: the digital representations sketched on whiteboards, encoded into software, stored in databases, loaded into computer memory, and transmitted on networks. These digital representations encode aspects of our everyday world and make them available for digital processing. The limits and capacities of those representations carry significant consequences for digital society. In The Stuff of Bits, Paul Dourish examines the specific materialities that certain digital objects exhibit. He presents four case studies: emulation, the creation of a "virtual" computer inside another; digital spreadsheets and their role in organizational practice; relational databases and the issue of "the databaseable"; and the evolution of digital networking and the representational entailments of network protocols. These case studies demonstrate how a materialist account can offer an entry point to broader concerns -- questions of power, policy, and polity in the realm of the digital.

Machine Art in the Twentieth Century

Machine Art in the Twentieth Century

  • Author: Andreas Broeckmann
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262035065
  • Category: Art
  • Page: 392
  • View: 1190
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An investigation of artists' engagement with technical systems, tracing art historical lineages that connect works of different periods.

Teaching Computational Creativity

Teaching Computational Creativity

  • Author: Michael Filimowicz,Veronika Tzankova
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • ISBN: 1108165850
  • Category: Psychology
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 4221
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Teaching Computational Creativity examines the new interdisciplinary pedagogies of today's coding-intensive interactive media and design curricula. Students, researchers and faculty will find a comprehensive overview of educational practices pertaining to innovation fields such as digital media, 3D printing, agile development, physical computing, games, dance, collaboration, teacher education and online learning. This volume fills an important gap in the literature on creative computation, as practitioners are rarely challenged to reflect on or share their teaching practices. How do we design effective inter-, multi-, cross- and trans-disciplinary pedagogy and curricula? Brought together here are essays on the pedagogies that produce the so-called 'unicorns' - graduates who can code and create. Here, the intertwining of (what many consider mutually exclusive) artistic sensitivities and computational skills plays an essential role, calling forth a new kind of undergraduate curriculum attuned to the interweaving of skillsets and theoretic knowledge needed to create and innovate with ever-changing technologies.

Once Upon an Algorithm

Once Upon an Algorithm

How Stories Explain Computing

  • Author: Martin Erwig
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262341700
  • Category: Mathematics
  • Page: 336
  • View: 9560
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Picture a computer scientist, staring at a screen and clicking away frantically on a keyboard, hacking into a system, or perhaps developing an app. Now delete that picture. In Once Upon an Algorithm, Martin Erwig explains computation as something that takes place beyond electronic computers, and computer science as the study of systematic problem solving. Erwig points out that many daily activities involve problem solving. Getting up in the morning, for example: You get up, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. This simple daily routine solves a recurring problem through a series of well-defined steps. In computer science, such a routine is called an algorithm. Erwig illustrates a series of concepts in computing with examples from daily life and familiar stories. Hansel and Gretel, for example, execute an algorithm to get home from the forest. The movie Groundhog Day illustrates the problem of unsolvability; Sherlock Holmes manipulates data structures when solving a crime; the magic in Harry Potter's world is understood through types and abstraction; and Indiana Jones demonstrates the complexity of searching. Along the way, Erwig also discusses representations and different ways to organize data; "intractable" problems; language, syntax, and ambiguity; control structures, loops, and the halting problem; different forms of recursion; and rules for finding errors in algorithms. This engaging book explains computation accessibly and shows its relevance to daily life. Something to think about next time we execute the algorithm of getting up in the morning.

The Digital Mind

The Digital Mind

How Science is Redefining Humanity

  • Author: Arlindo Oliveira
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262036037
  • Category: Computers
  • Page: 344
  • View: 3728
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How developments in science and technology may enable the emergence of purely digital minds -- intelligent machines equal to or greater in power than the human brain.

Plain Text

Plain Text

The Poetics of Computation

  • Author: Dennis Tenen
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • ISBN: 1503602346
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 280
  • View: 9790
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This book challenges the ways we read, write, store, and retrieve information in the digital age. Computers—from electronic books to smart phones—play an active role in our social lives. Our technological choices thus entail theoretical and political commitments. Dennis Tenen takes up today's strange enmeshing of humans, texts, and machines to argue that our most ingrained intuitions about texts are profoundly alienated from the physical contexts of their intellectual production. Drawing on a range of primary sources from both literary theory and software engineering, he makes a case for a more transparent practice of human–computer interaction. Plain Text is thus a rallying call, a frame of mind as much as a file format. It reminds us, ultimately, that our devices also encode specific modes of governance and control that must remain available to interpretation.

Time and the Digital

Time and the Digital

Connecting Technology, Aesthetics, and a Process Philosophy of Time

  • Author: Timothy Scott Barker
  • Publisher: UPNE
  • ISBN: 1611683017
  • Category: Computers
  • Page: 232
  • View: 558
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An original consideration of the temporal in digital art and aesthetics

Common Sense, the Turing Test, and the Quest for Real AI

Common Sense, the Turing Test, and the Quest for Real AI

Reflections on Natural and Artificial Intelligence

  • Author: Hector J. Levesque
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262036045
  • Category: Computers
  • Page: 192
  • View: 4919
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What artificial intelligence can tell us about the mind and intelligent behavior.

We Are Data

We Are Data

Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves

  • Author: John Cheney-Lippold
  • Publisher: NYU Press
  • ISBN: 1479808709
  • Category: Business & Economics
  • Page: 320
  • View: 2894
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What identity means in an algorithmic age: how it works, how our lives are controlled by it, and how we can resist it Algorithms are everywhere, organizing the near limitless data that exists in our world. Derived from our every search, like, click, and purchase, algorithms determine the news we get, the ads we see, the information accessible to us and even who our friends are. These complex configurations not only form knowledge and social relationships in the digital and physical world, but also determine who we are and who we can be, both on and offline. Algorithms create and recreate us, using our data to assign and reassign our gender, race, sexuality, and citizenship status. They can recognize us as celebrities or mark us as terrorists. In this era of ubiquitous surveillance, contemporary data collection entails more than gathering information about us. Entities like Google, Facebook, and the NSA also decide what that information means, constructing our worlds and the identities we inhabit in the process. We have little control over who we algorithmically are. Our identities are made useful not for us—but for someone else. Through a series of entertaining and engaging examples, John Cheney-Lippold draws on the social constructions of identity to advance a new understanding of our algorithmic identities. We Are Data will educate and inspire readers who want to wrest back some freedom in our increasingly surveilled and algorithmically-constructed world.

The Acceleration of Cultural Change

The Acceleration of Cultural Change

From Ancestors to Algorithms

  • Author: R. Alexander Bentley,Michael J. O'Brien,John Maeda
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262343061
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 176
  • View: 8963
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From our hunter-gatherer days, we humans evolved to be excellent throwers, chewers, and long-distance runners. We are highly social, crave Paleolithic snacks, and display some gendered difference resulting from mate selection. But we now find ourselves binge-viewing, texting while driving, and playing Minecraft. Only the collective acceleration of cultural and technological evolution explains this development. The evolutionary psychology of individuals -- the drive for "food and sex" -- explains some of our current habits, but our evolutionary success, Alex Bentley and Mike O'Brien explain, lies in our ability to learn cultural know-how and to teach it to the next generation. Today, we are following social media bots as much as we are learning from our ancestors. We are radically changing the way culture evolves. Bentley and O'Brien describe how the transmission of culture has become vast and instantaneous across an Internet of people and devices, after millennia of local ancestral knowledge that evolved slowly. Long-evolved cultural knowledge is aggressively discounted by online algorithms, which prioritize popularity and recency. If children are learning more from Minecraft than from tradition, this is a profound shift in cultural evolution. Bentley and O'Brien examine the broad and shallow model of cultural evolution seen today in the science of networks, prediction markets, and the explosion of digital information. They suggest that in the future, artificial intelligence could be put to work to solve the problem of information overload, learning to integrate concepts over the vast idea space of digitally stored information.

A Prehistory of the Cloud

A Prehistory of the Cloud

  • Author: Tung-Hui Hu
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262330105
  • Category: Computers
  • Page: 240
  • View: 3719
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We may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated. Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of massive data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town. Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud. Behind that cloud-shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies and cultural norms, all working to keep us from noticing their existence. In this book, Tung-Hui Hu examines the gap between the real and the virtual in our understanding of the cloud. Hu shows that the cloud grew out of such older networks as railroad tracks, sewer lines, and television circuits. He describes key moments in the prehistory of the cloud, from the game "Spacewar" as exemplar of time-sharing computers to Cold War bunkers that were later reused as data centers. Countering the popular perception of a new "cloudlike" political power that is dispersed and immaterial, Hu argues that the cloud grafts digital technologies onto older ways of exerting power over a population. But because we invest the cloud with cultural fantasies about security and participation, we fail to recognize its militarized origins and ideology. Moving between the materiality of the technology itself and its cultural rhetoric, Hu's account offers a set of new tools for rethinking the contemporary digital environment.

Technologies of Vision

Technologies of Vision

The War Between Data and Images

  • Author: Steve F Anderson
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262343347
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 304
  • View: 3643
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If the twentieth century was tyrannized by images, then the twenty-first is ruled by data. In Technologies of Vision, Steve Anderson argues that visual culture and the methods developed to study it have much to teach us about today's digital culture; but first we must examine the historically entangled relationship between data and images. Anderson starts from the supposition that there is no great divide separating pre- and post-digital culture. Rather than creating an insular field of new and inaccessible discourse, he argues, it is more productive to imagine that studying "the digital" is coextensive with critical models -- especially the politics of seeing and knowing -- developed for understanding "the visual." Anderson's investigation takes on an eclectic array of examples ranging from virtual reality, culture analytics, and software art to technologies for computer vision, face recognition, and photogrammetry. Mixing media archaeology with software studies, Anderson mines the history of technology for insight into both the politics of data and the pleasures of algorithms. He proposes a taxonomy of modes that describe the functional relationship between data and images in the domains of space, surveillance and data visualization. At stake in all three are tensions between the totalizing logic of data and the unruly chaos of images.

Updating to Remain the Same

Updating to Remain the Same

Habitual New Media

  • Author: Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 0262333783
  • Category: Technology & Engineering
  • Page: 264
  • View: 5665
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New media -- we are told -- exist at the bleeding edge of obsolescence. We thus forever try to catch up, updating to remain the same. Meanwhile, analytic, creative, and commercial efforts focus exclusively on the next big thing: figuring out what will spread and who will spread it the fastest. But what do we miss in this constant push to the future? In Updating to Remain the Same, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun suggests another approach, arguing that our media matter most when they seem not to matter at all -- when they have moved from "new" to habitual. Smart phones, for example, no longer amaze, but they increasingly structure and monitor our lives. Through habits, Chun says, new media become embedded in our lives -- indeed, we become our machines: we stream, update, capture, upload, link, save, trash, and troll. Chun links habits to the rise of networks as the defining concept of our era. Networks have been central to the emergence of neoliberalism, replacing "society" with groupings of individuals and connectable "YOUS." (For isn't "new media" actually "NYOU media"?) Habit is central to the inversion of privacy and publicity that drives neoliberalism and networks. Why do we view our networked devices as "personal" when they are so chatty and promiscuous? What would happen, Chun asks, if, rather than pushing for privacy that is no privacy, we demanded public rights -- the right to be exposed, to take risks and to be in public and not be attacked?

How to Fix the Future

How to Fix the Future

  • Author: Andrew Keen
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
  • ISBN: 0802189121
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 288
  • View: 2095
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Former Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen was among the earliest to write about the dangers that the Internet poses to our culture and society. His 2007 book The Cult of the Amateur was critical in helping advance the conversation around the Internet, which has now morphed from a tool providing efficiencies and opportunities for consumers and business to an elemental force that is profoundly reshaping our societies and our world. In his new book, How to Fix the Future, Keen focuses on what we can do about this seemingly intractable situation. Looking to the past to learn how we might change our future, he describes how societies tamed the excesses of the Industrial Revolution, which, like its digital counterpart, demolished long-standing models of living, ruined harmonious environments, and altered the business world beyond recognition. Traveling the world to interview experts in a wide variety of fields, from EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, whose recent €2.4 billion fine to Google made headlines around the world, to successful venture capitalists who nonetheless see the tide turning, to CEOs of companies including The New York Times, Keen unearths approaches to tackling our digital future. There are five key tools that Keen identifies: regulation, competitive innovation, social responsibility, worker and consumer choice, and education. His journey to discover how these tools are being put into practice around the globe takes him from digital-oriented Estonia, where Skype was founded and where every citizen can access whatever data the government holds on them by logging in to an online database, and where a “e-residency” program allows the country to expand beyond its narrow borders, to Singapore, where a large part of the higher education sector consists in professional courses in coding and website design, to India, Germany, China, Russia, and, of course, Silicon Valley. Powerful, urgent, and deeply engaging, How to Fix the Future vividly depicts what we must do if we are to try to preserve human values in an increasingly digital world and what steps we might take as societies and individuals to make the future something we can again look forward to.

Processing

Processing

A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists

  • Author: Casey Reas,Ben Fry
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 026202828X
  • Category: Art
  • Page: 672
  • View: 4659
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The visual arts are rapidly changing as media moves into the web, mobile devices, and architecture. When designers and artists learn the basics of writing software, they develop a new form of literacy that enables them to create new media for the present, and to imagine future media that are beyond the capacities of current software tools. This book introduces this new literacy by teaching computer programming within the context of the visual arts. It offers a comprehensive reference and text for Processing (www.processing.org), an open-source programming language that can be used by students, artists, designers, architects, researchers, and anyone who wants to program images, animation, and interactivity. Written by Processing's cofounders, the book offers a definitive reference for students and professionals. Tutorial chapters make up the bulk of the book; advanced professional projects from such domains as animation, performance, and installation are discussed in interviews with their creators.This second edition has been thoroughly updated. It is the first book to offer in-depth coverage of Processing 2.0 and 3.0, and all examples have been updated for the new syntax. Every chapter has been revised, and new chapters introduce new ways to work with data and geometry. New "synthesis" chapters offer discussion and worked examples of such topics as sketching with code, modularity, and algorithms. New interviews have been added that cover a wider range of projects. "Extension" chapters are now offered online so they can be updated to keep pace with technological developments in such fields as computer vision and electronics.InterviewsSUE.C, Larry Cuba, Mark Hansen, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jürg Lehni, LettError, Golan Levin and Zachary Lieberman, Benjamin Maus, Manfred Mohr, Ash Nehru, Josh On, Bob Sabiston, Jennifer Steinkamp, Jared Tarbell, Steph Thirion, Robert Winter

Contemporary Art and Digital Culture

Contemporary Art and Digital Culture

  • Author: Melissa Gronlund
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • ISBN: 1317386418
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 230
  • View: 7811
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Contemporary Art and Digital Culture analyses the impact of the internet and digital technologies upon art today. Art over the last fifteen years has been deeply inflected by the rise of the internet as a mass cultural and socio-political medium, while also responding to urgent economic and political events, from the financial crisis of 2008 to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. This book looks at how contemporary art addresses digitality, circulation, privacy, and globalisation, and suggests how feminism and gender binaries have been shifted by new mediations of identity. It situates current artistic practice both in canonical art history and in technological predecessors such as cybernetics and net.art, and takes stock of how the art-world infrastructure has reacted to the internet’s promises of democratisation. An invaluable resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students of contemporary art – especially those studying history of art and art practice and theory – as well as those working in film, media, curation, or art education. Melissa Gronlund is a writer and lecturer on contemporary art, specialising in the moving image. From 2007–2015, she was co-editor of the journal Afterall, and her writing has appeared there and in Artforum, e-flux journal, frieze, the NewYorker.com, and many other places.

The Quantified Self

The Quantified Self

  • Author: Deborah Lupton
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • ISBN: 1509500618
  • Category: Social Science
  • Page: 240
  • View: 3426
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With the advent of digital devices and software, self-tracking practices have gained new adherents and have spread into a wide array of social domains. The Quantified Self movement has emerged to promote 'self-knowledge through numbers'. In this groundbreaking book Deborah Lupton critically analyses the social, cultural and political dimensions of contemporary self-tracking and identifies the concepts of selfhood and human embodiment and the value of the data that underpin them. The book incorporates discussion of the consolations and frustrations of self-tracking, as well as about the proliferating ways in which people's personal data are now used beyond their private rationales. Lupton outlines how the information that is generated through self-tracking is taken up and repurposed for commercial, governmental, managerial and research purposes. In the relationship between personal data practices and big data politics, the implications of self-tracking are becoming ever more crucial.